Spelman College, Economics Department
Dr. Holmes is an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at Spelman College. She received her PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Georgia. After pursuing her PhD, Dr. Holmes was a Steven Tuetsh Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she conducted an economic evaluation on an HIV prevention program targeted at African-American males to reduce risky sexual behaviors. From CDC, she worked as a Research Associate at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). At HSPH, she worked with a team of researchers to examine the health and economic impact of an HIV/AIDS treatment program for a country in Africa. She also worked with team that examined how HIV/AIDS impacted household spending and budgets in selected cities within African countries. Dr. Holmes recently completed a rigorous and extensive research training program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health where researchers were trained in the methods of biostatistics, epidemiology, decision analysis, and cost-effectiveness analysis. The summer program was part of her recent appointment as a PRIDE scholar at Columbia University.
In recognition of housing as a basic need, the right to housing has been actively enforced by local laws in New York City and supported by Federal Housing policies. Recently all Public Housing Authority directors were encouraged to permit flexible admissions for persons re-entering the community from prisons where HIV prevalence rates are higher than the average population rate. President Obama also mandated that housing should be guaranteed as a structural health intervention for HIV positive persons. Housing interventions can offer societal and health benefits that extend beyond the aversion of HIV transmission and thus serve as a vehicle for overall societal cost containment. Potential positive outcomes to society include averted costs associated with reduction in the use of crisis care medical services (e.g. emergency department and inpatient care), social programs (e.g. detox programs) and in some cases first time street homelessness. High rates of homelessness and incarceration contribute substantially to poor health at the population level, especially in low income minority communities. Until very recently, laws prohibited persons with criminal justice history from receiving publicly supported housing assistance; thus these laws themselves contributed to increased contexts of risk. Current federal policies mandate that all persons are housed, regardless of past drug use or incarceration. This project will elucidate how individuals moving through transitional states such as incarceration to homelessness or stably housed not only (1) changes risk of exposure to infectious diseases such as HIV and communicable diseases such as STD’s but also (2) influences public health care costs due to increased or lack of access to stable care for chronic diseases and overuse of emergency services. The project will examine health and economic outcomes of participants receiving supportive housing as part of an intervention that targets individuals with multiple episodes of homelessness and incarceration.
My New Connections Experience
I heard about New Connections from junior professors at Public Health Programs and was strongly encouraged to apply. I was additionally impressed by the Foundation’s webinars and daily news updates. New Connections assist junior investigators with their professional development by providing mentoring clinics and supporting training opportunities to build grantees’ research analysis skills. New Connections offers a strong community of public health professionals and established researchers for networking and collaboration. New Connections will provide the mentoring, support and connections I need to advance to the next level in my career.
- New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
- Award Year: 2011, PHLR-New Connections
- RWJF Team/Portfolio: Public Health
- Project Name: Examining the health and economic impact of a policy driven supportive housing program for formerly incarcerated homeless individuals in New York City.